A Sacramento African-American performing arts company called Celebration Arts is closing after more than 20 years at its current location on D Street.

According to its artistic director, James Wheatley, their lease is up and the owner of the building isn't renewing it.

Celebration Arts was founded in 1986.

"It was exciting," Wheatley said. "It was a chance to do something. We didn't know exactly what we were doing, but we said we're going to do something and use this space."

Wheatley and a few board members were cleaning up the building and taking down chairs, lights, and props Thursday afternoon.

"There's a lot of history, but it's an opportunity to grow," Wheatley said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to get more space."

Wheatley said there aren't many African-American performing arts organizations.

"It's very important because we get to tell the stories," Wheatley said. "Everything we do, whether you're dancing or singing or acting or telling a story, someone has created that story. We're talking about things that are happening written by African-Americans or not by African-Americans about African Americans so you have that sense of history and that cohesiveness by combining the past with the future with the present."

Celebration Arts board member Linda Goodrich was helping move Thursday afternoon.

"It means everything to me as an artist who does dance and theater," Goodrich said. "It was one of the first places I came to when I moved to Sacramento because they were dealing with African-American plays and issues."

"It's important for our community to keep something like this going and folks told us we'll follow you wherever you go because we built a brand which we have to keep promoting," Wheatley said.

There is no location of where Celebration Arts may move to yet. They are currently moving all supplies to storage momentarily.